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What next... KS5 Students

Year 12

At the start of Year 12, students are given the opportunity to develop their extra-curricular experiences by signing up to and completing a ‘Brookfield Enrichment Programme’ course through the Stellar Programme to help them gain extra skills and work experience.

There is early identification of those students contemplating Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science applications so guidance can be tailored specifically. A trip is organised to the University of Oxford for our most able students.

During assemblies and form time, Year 12 students are encouraged to think about and plan their future Post 18 careers paths. They should research personal development opportunities, including those run by organisations, companies and universities. It is important they attend University Open Days and Taster sessions at their earliest convenience this year.

Throughout the year, a number of guest speakers present Post 18 progression opportunities to students, including companies, university representatives, student finance, current professionals and other agencies.

Students are recommended and selected by subject staff to attend Villiers Park residential's to further their understanding and experience degree level study.

Once Y12 students have finished their mock exams, they follow our Post 18 Options course. This is a 7-week carousel programme which outlines to students the options available to them Post 18. It includes information about Higher Education as well other Post 18 pathways and qualifications including Apprenticeships. Each student receives a Gold Post 18 Course Booklet which contains lots of important information and guidance, as well as sections to complete during each of the seven guidance sessions as outlined below. Admissions Tutor: a whole year group talk in the hall by the Sheffield Hallam University Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer – Rachel White, focussing on the Admissions Process and Personal Statements.

  • UCAS Apply: Students register with UCAS. The Gold Post 18 Course Booklet details this process.
  • Student Ambassador: a form group Question and Answer session with a current Sheffield Hallam Student Ambassador giving students the opportunity to get a student view of what University is really like.
  • Personal Statement: guidance on how to plan, write and structure a Personal Statement, with advice coming straight from The University of Sheffield’s Head of Admissions.
  • Library: Students are shown where they can access necessary Post 18 progression information in our Library. Students are shown the Post 18 Careers literature we have in school including prospectus’ and also the many useful websites they can use to research their future career path.
  • Non-University Pathways: a talk delivered by one of the Sixth Form Leadership Team in form rooms about alternative pathways. It includes information about Foundation Degrees, Apprenticeships, HNC’s, HND’s, NVQ’s and Gap Years.

These 7 sessions are designed to give students support and information about all the options available to them so they can make informed choices. Students continually receive details and information about upcoming Post 18 events and opportunities in Assemblies, via Form Tutors and the Sixth Form Leadership Team and on the Careers display boards in the Sixth Form Study Area. These are updated regularly and include opportunities for all Post 18 Progression routes.

Post 18 Transition Day: Year 12 students also have a further day to continue with their Post 18 research.

UCAS Early Applicants: Throughout June and July; students who are seriously contemplating Oxford or Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science work closely with the Sixth Form team so they can be fully prepared for the early UCAS application deadline. Specialists support programmes across the Redhill Academy Trust also support early applicants.

Parents Post 18 Information Evening: This is an evening specifically for parents of Y12 students, informing them about our Higher Education programme, what is available Post 18 and looking at how they might help you in the process. On this evening we give out a Key dates list and a ‘Finance booklet for Parents,’ giving information and advice on student finance. A step-by-step guide to undergraduate student finance is also available at

Students are continually encouraged to attend University Open Days, ask for guidance as appropriate and to continue their research into their Post 18 route during the summer holidays so when they return as a Year 13 in September, they have an idea of what they want to do following the completion of their A Level studies.

A full list of University Open Days for 2022 can be found at

Year 13

Every week, students have a regular Life 360+ sessions during form time. This is their designated time to continue with their Post 18 planning, with Form Tutors, Careers Advisors and the Sixth Form Leadership Team continually on hand to support students with their UCAS applications, Personal Statements, alternative pathways and any other Post 18 progression including Apprenticeships.

Students follow a Driver Safety programme in the run up to Christmas.

All Year 13 students now follow the Personal Development Programme.

All students are given the option of Post 18 interview practice and further guidance.

The Careers and Guidance Officer, Rachel Morse will meet with all students who are not going to university, looking at job-seeking skills, interview techniques and CVs etc.

Guest speakers are organised throughout the year to deliver further information during assemblies including Student Finance.

Students are coached on their ‘next steps’ including tracking their University applications, looking at University Accommodation and Finance, Apprenticeship and Job applications and what happens on results day, including Clearing, Confirmation and Adjustment.

Looking for Apprenticeships / Employment / Gap Years / College / Higher Education/ Volunteering?

Careers Information

If you have a careers' idea you need to know what this involves. Use the Explore Careers sections on National Careers Service and the I Could websites. If you aren’t sure what to do use the Buzz Quiz for ideas. Talk to family and friends about your ideas as they or people they know may be able to help.

What skills do you have?  The skill's assessment on the National Careers Service could help you to consider what skills you have and might want/ need to develop.


These are a combination of work experience with an employer and study for a qualification either in the work place or at college/university or a training centre.  They are offered at several levels starting at Intermediate Level 2 (GCSE level), Advanced Level 3 (A Level, Btec Extended Diploma level) and Higher and Degree Level 4 and above which link into part-time university level study.  Entry points vary depending on the work offered, employer needs and students’ qualifications.  An employer can organise their apprenticeship but many work in combination with a training provider.  The training provider can be a private training organisational or apprenticeship team within a college or university.  Use,, and – Alternatives section and register for vacancies as well as contacting employers direct. 

Apprenticeships are in specific career areas so check out the careers as well. As apprenticeships focus on a specific career check out more information on Vacancies are competitive so apply for lots and have a back-up plan in case you don’t secure an apprenticeship. 

There are a number of Apprenticeship Open Days coming up in 2022 at local colleges so please click on the associated links for more details. Also contact apprenticeship teams within universities to find out more about Degree apprenticeships:

Buxton & Leek College Apprenticeship Open Days - more details can be found at

Chesterfield College Learning Unlimited Open Days - more details can be found at

Derby College Apprenticeships Open Days - more details can be found at

Sheffield College - details of all their apprenticeship opportunities can be found on

West Notts College Apprenticeship Open Days - more details can be found at


If you want to start earning money, looking for a job is another option.  Competition is strong and what is available varies but think about what you'd like to do and start to research, and make contact with relevant employers.  Use, and as alternative sections to explore.  

Gap Years

There are various types of year out depending on what you want to do/ get from the year and do afterwards.  These range from working and earning, volunteering locally or elsewhere, travelling.  For those looking for work/apprenticeships after the year out it would be very useful to include some experience and development of transferable, personal skills.

Use has some useful information and links to other helpful websites e.g. Year Out group.  There are various articles on the Prospects website e.g.  and some organised experiences on

Further Education

A number of A level students will continue their studies within Further Education e.g. Art Foundation course at local colleges, before moving onto university. Local colleges include Buxton and Leek - , Chesterfield College - , Derby College on, Sheffield College - and West Notts College (Mansfield) on Check out funding arrangements with the relevant further education establishments, and talk to them about their courses and entry grades required. 


Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills and develop your knowledge in a certain area, and it helps to stand you apart from others on your CV. Find out about possible volunteering opportunities on Gap year section on – Alternatives section and through the County Council

Remember you can apply for several options e.g. University and apprenticeships and then decide in the summer. Support is available from your form tutor / Mrs Bradshaw (Head of sixth Form) and Rachel Morse, Careers and Guidance Officer. Good luck with your career planning.